Stay abroad; use of assistance in case of emergency
Germans who find themselves in an emergency situation during their stay abroad can contact the nearest German mission abroad.
German missions abroad are usually embassies or consulates general. For example, they can
- Issue you with a travel document to return to Germany if you lose your passport,
- arrange for you to contact relatives or friends at home if you lose money,
- Show you fast transfer channels,
- for example Blitzgiro, telegraphic post transfer, Western Union Money Transfer or
- in countries where these transfer methods are not available, a transfer via the foreign representation,
- arrange for you legal or medical assistance and interpretation or translation services,
- arrange for you to be represented by a lawyer if you wish in the event of arrest, and inform your relatives,
- arrange for you as a relative to learn of the death of a German citizen abroad, and arrange for local funeral homes to take care of the formalities,
- help you in cases of missing persons, for example by involving the local police and supporting you in discussions with local authorities,
- provide assistance in the event of insolvency of the tour operator,
- assist in crisis situations and evacuations.
The German representations can help you if other assistance is not possible. In this case, you have far-reaching obligations to cooperate and to provide information. The principle of "help for self-help" applies. Financial assistance provided is a social benefit that is subject to a fee and is repayable.
- objective emergency from which the person concerned cannot extricate himself or herself and cannot be extricated by third parties
- German nationality of the person concerned
Contact the nearest German mission abroad.
- If you have lost your passport, you must visit the foreign mission in person.
- In case of emergency, it depends on the situation how you get in touch.
- Depending on the request and emergency situation, it is possible that
- there is a suitable form or an informal application is sufficient,
- the written form is required (e.g. signed application),
- you have to appear in person.
Before starting any trip abroad, you should clarify whether you have adequate health insurance coverage that also covers an emergency flight to Germany. Without sufficient insurance cover, you will have to bear the corresponding costs incurred on site. This can quickly consume all savings. These costs cannot be covered by German missions abroad. It also cannot be ruled out that you will be refused permission to leave the country if, for example, you are unable to pay hospital bills.
There is no time limit, however, no help is available for the past.
- Depending on the situation, immediately if necessary
- Example: In case of passport loss, processing usually takes one working day.
- in case of passport loss: report the loss or theft to the police
- Action before the Administrative Court
Links to more information
Responsible for editing:Auswärtiges Amt
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